I have a CRUSH on my Therapist! This is always an interesting topic to discuss, and before I even get into why this happens and what is really means. I want you to know that it is NEVER okay for a therapist (or any other mental health professional for that matter) to hit on you or make any romantic advances. It’s against the law! It takes advantage of the relationship built in therapy, abuses their power, and makes me sick. If this has ever happened to you, or is happening to you. Please report them! They do not deserve to have a license and are disgusting human beings.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get into why this happens a lot. Remember my old video about transference? Well if not, you can watch it later, link in description, but for now just know that the definition of transference is: where the feelings, desires, and expectations of one person are redirected and applied to another person. Most commonly, transference refers to a therapeutic setting, where a person in therapy may apply certain feelings or emotions toward the therapist.
When we find ourselves having romantic feelings for our therapist it is what’s called erotic transference. Meaning that we are transferring past issues with connection and intimacy onto our relationship with our therapist. These past issues aren’t always romantic ones, they can be just a lack of real connection. This could be due to an emotionally absent mother or father. This could be the need for more hugging and holding as a child. Whatever it may be, we didn’t get something we need in our past relationships. We are getting some of that now in therapy and it can be confusing. It can make us think our therapist loves us or wants to be with us.
I know this sounds scary and terrible, but the best thing we can do is bring these feelings up in therapy. Any therapist worth your time will know how to talk with you about it. It’s more about early attachment, needing connection, and not knowing what real care and love feel like. They can help us identify those issues from our past and give us the time to process through it.
However, it is important to note that if you feel it’s progressed to far in your mind or if the therapist isn’t well suited to deal with it, it may be best for you to see someone else and work through this transference with them.
Overall I just don’t want you to think you are weird or that this never happens. Erotic transference is very common, and every therapist should have learned all about it while in school and in training. It’s completely normal and it can be worked through. But again, it’s never okay to have a therapist come onto you or initiate any romantic relationship with you. It’s against the law and SO VERY WRONG!
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I’m Kati Morton, a licensed therapist making Mental Health videos!
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